More than ever before the Monte Carlo Open 1983 was an international media event. The reason: Bjorn Borg was playing his last official championship...A veritable army of the international press gathered to record the retirement of the five-times Wimbledon champion who, at the age of 26, had decided enough was enough...[But] with Borg's departure [losing to Henri Leconte in the second round] everyone was finally allowed to concentrate on the rest of the tournament and it quickly became clear that Borg's natural successor as the Swedish clay-court king, Mats Wilander, was a class above the rest...Only Balazs Taroczy in the first round and Leconte in the quarters had come remotely close to taking a set from Wilander and such was the 18-year-old's determination when put under pressure that he finished both those matches by winning the second set 6-0. Mats Wilander, as he was to prove in the months that followed, was certainly a player in the Borg mould but also a champion in his own right. (Richard Evans, World of Tennis 1984)

Wilander is a gentle boy, who, once he has made a friend, cares for them dearly, he is sensitive, and some say a nicer person than Borg. He may appear cool, and aloof, but he doesn't have Borg's coldness. And he is popular, even though he has been forced by Sweden's crippling taxes to leave the country for exile in Monte Carlo where he lives just 100 yards away from Borg. (Tennis World, May 1983)

Mats Wilander gave himself an early 19th birthday present by beating the two top men in the world to win the 1983 ATP Championships at King's Island, Ohio. To have subdued Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe on successive days without dropping a set and at a cost of a meagre 11 games would have been impressive enough. But for a man whose reputation had entirely been built on some outstanding results on slow clay to have achieved this feat on fast asphalt courts in searing heat was altogether remarkable...Mats was delightfully modest about this latest success - as he had been the previous year when he had become the youngest-ever winner of the French Open. (Edward Johnson, World of Tennis, 1984)

It was on the courts of the Real Club in October 1982 that Mats Wilander, then 18, proved that his French Open victory four months earlier had been no fluke. For that year in Barcelona the young Swede beat three of the four men he had humbled in Paris - Ivan Lendl, José-Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas. In 1983 Wilander returned as top seed and successfully defended his Spanish title with another victory over the no. 3 seed, Vilas... Wilander was in total command and it was a fitting climax to a week of awesome consistency from the Swedish teenager who lost only one set - to compatriot Jan Gunnarsson in the quarter-finals - as he eliminated in addition Fargas, Gurfein, Avendano and, in a superb semi-final, the no. 4 seed, Andres Gomez. When Gomez recovered from 1-4 to 5-all in the second set with some fierce hitting on his topspin forehand, he appeared momentarily to have rattled the Swede. But Wilander, thorough-bred competitor that he is, came surging through to win the tie-break in "one of the best matches I have ever played." If Wilander claims the title for the third time in 1984, he will be the first to win three in a row. (Edward Johnson, World of Tennis, 1984)

In 1982 Mats Wilander emulated his great compatriot, Bjorn Borg, in becoming a precocious champion and leapt almost to the highest peaks of the game by winning the French title. It would have been no surprise if in the following season this steady, resolute young man, superb in consistency of shot, generous in sportsmanship, had not fallen back a little. For the bulk of the season he did and did not. He failed to hold on to his French title...Even so, in the less exalted level of the Grand Prix he did rather well, to put it mildly. He won Monte Carlo, and Lisbon and Aix-en-Provence. He triumphed in Bastad; and Cincinnati; Geneva too, Barcelona; then indoors at Stockholm. That was a rich haul, mostly on his favourite slow, clay-like surfaces. No good on grass? In Melbourne he surprised everyone, perhaps himself. On grass, in superb manner, he took the last Grand Slam event of the year. He beat McEnroe to reach the final. There he beat Lendl. What more could a man do to make himself a player of the year? I need hardly mention the Davis Cup in which he was undefeated in helping Sweden reach the final, where Australia prevailed 3-2. (Lance Tingay, World of Tennis 1984)

The placid Swede continued to improve exceptionally fast in 1983, winning more tournaments than anyone else in men's tennis (9)...and making a major breakthrough when he won the Australian Open with back-to-back triumphs over McEnroe and Lendl. Had he won the Masters, some authorities could have awarded him the no. 1 world ranking, but he was prevented by a semi-final loss to McEnroe (his first in four meetings with the American.) Nevertheless, he was the only top player to win tournaments on clay (6), grass (1), indoor (1) and cement (1)... While he was ranked no. 4 on the computer at the end of the year, most experts placed him either second or third, based on his capturing of the Australian Open, beating McEnroe three out of four times, winning the most tournaments and displaying the most consistency. In addition, he led Sweden to the Davis Cup final and did not lose a Davis Cup match all year. (Steve Flink, World of Tennis 1984)